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Mixed or average reviews - based on 12 Critics What's this?

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3.4

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 104 Ratings

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  • Summary: Call of Juarez: The Cartel is the third game from the Call of Juarez series.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 12
  2. Negative: 6 out of 12
  1. Sep 9, 2011
    57
    If Techland would have called this one "Stupid shooter with pathetic characters full of cliché", it would have been less of a disappointment.
  2. Sep 9, 2011
    55
    The PC version of Call of Juarez: The Cartel is still a game that should be worked on for a couple more months. Some strange and unprofessional gameplay solutions and technical issues can surprise many Techland fans. We got used to the fact that this Polish developer makes some mistakes because they are hard to avoid with more and more complicated games. This does not explain, however, why The Cartel is so mediocre - the entire Call of Juarez franchise suffers from it.
  3. Sep 15, 2011
    55
    Call of Juarez: The Cartel proves that good ideas mean little when they don't have a solid foundation to support them.
  4. Jul 21, 2011
    45
    The game is generic at best, broken at worst, and falls short in its attempts to innovate cooperative play.
  5. Sep 16, 2011
    45
    A poor change of pace for the franchise. Taking the story into modern times seems to have robbed it of its passion and charm, replacing it with asinine characters and more cuss words than an Al Pacino flick.
  6. Aug 5, 2011
    45
    Although Techland brings some nice ideas into the Call of Juarez universe, the game ultimately fails to deliver because of a way too typical story, dated graphics, loads of bugs and a total misunderstanding of the concept 'Wild West'. The Cartel is a major step back for the franchise and we would have been better off without it.
  7. Nov 9, 2011
    35
    The Cartel's finest feature is a mess. Everything else is merely bland, repetitive, and dull. [Holiday 2011, p.80]

See all 12 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 19
  2. Negative: 15 out of 19
  1. Oct 16, 2013
    8
    This game ain't that bad. If you can feel the atmosphere in it then it's a beautiful game and you will have a lot of fun. I really enjoyed it. I've been playing almost all first person shooters since Quake 1 (1996) and this is just another one with a great atmosphere. South of U.S. and Mexico in a hot sun and a lot of criminals. Expand
  2. MB_
    Oct 3, 2011
    6
    Maddeningly frustrating. Fundamentally flawed. Idiotic. However for a co-op game its well worth buying if it's on the cheapo. The concept of a co-op game where people are working against each other is the idiotic. The frustrating is the simple things like picking up your fallen team mates animates you from cover into the line of fire, putting you on the same dirt your friend was just on. As for the fundamentally flawed. Well a game where you have to search around looking for items but on rails so narrow the game resets if you explore too far.... a child could explain the problem with that. That all said, it looks pretty cool. Driving is fun. It all works [had to grenade my team mates a couple of times to reset a stuck room entry] and functionally is almost up to a Valve game. But things like constant in game phone calls, texts and slow cross hair switching, the depth of field focusing far too slowly and usually onto something invisible right in front of you. Oooh it's so infuriating, there's a good game here. Under the stupid. Dig deep tho! Collapse
  3. Oct 25, 2011
    3
    Game is poor in comparison with the other two games in the series. The plot wasn't too bad and the choice of endings was kind of neat. In my view, the downside were as follows: (1) repetitive scenery--how many times do you go through the same building? (2) repetitve comments by the AI characters in the single player mode--how many times can you remind your partner that you are saving his a__? (3) too many chase scenes. These are ok for some, but I found them annoying. Overall, I suggest you save your money for another game. Expand
  4. Feb 10, 2012
    1
    This game is not just horribly designed, it is also blatantly racist. Seriously, it is incredible how moronic the contents of this game are. Don't even consider buying it.. Expand
  5. Oct 19, 2011
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I find it disappointing no one has pointed how utterly inaccurately the story paints the drug war that it comes off cartoonish and racist. The boring wave after wave of black and latino badguys, the achievement for killing 40+ black people in one level, this all has a damaging psychological impact that actually does decensitize it's player to the gory racial, and gender violence that is being committed, and without any honest context.

    This is the worst part. When you are chasing down the missing stripper, after strangling TWO OTHER STRIPPERS TO GET INFORMATION (this is so offensive, but it doesn't even matter because of what comes next), they paint the picture that human sex trafficking, one of the most heinous crimes in the world, has the cartel kidnapping American women and selling them in Mexico? Whoah. Whoah. Whoah. That has no basis in reality and is an INSULT to the women and children sold as slaves in the United States. It's Mexican women who are kidnaped and sold in the U.S. and other countries. To even entertain the opposite without recognizing the actual truth of it is so... brainless and I will say it. Misogynistic and Racist. I don't know if the game designers actually are stupid, bigoted and hate women, but they definitely think their audience is. Glad I didn't buy it and just watched some play through. No money should go toward this game. Ever.
    Expand
  6. Oct 22, 2011
    0
    Call of Juarez: The Cartel actually does the gaming community a great service. See, those of us who view games as having the potential to be just as artistic a medium as movie or books have gotten a bit lazy when dealing with Jack Thompson-like characters: It's always kneejerk reactions about freedom of speech combined with Whack-A-Mole-esque dismissals of insane, completely fabricated claims like we saw with Mass Effect. Anything else, such as acknowledging shortcomings in a game, start to feel like a show of weakness. This does not push the medium forward. Well thankfully we can put those days behind us (As well as laugh at the true blindness of Game-haters who have overlooked this piece of garbage), because fellow gamers here is a game that is genuinely racist, sexist, and de-humanizing, worthy of all the Fox News reports we have seen dragging comparatively responsible games through the muck.

    Most other games that deal with excessive violence fall into 3 categories. First is the justified violence camp, where violence is at least arguably the only solution. You are killing things that need killing. Second, you have the over the top, ironic violence that frames itself as parody. You don't take your Serious Sams, Duke Nukems or Postals seriously, because how can you? Then you have your games where evil acts are there to provide a larger, philosophical context. You kill little sisters because that is consistent with the objectivist philosophy underpinning Rapture. You shoot Russian civilians because you believe it is for the greater good, and the player must question if this is right. CoJ manages none of these. By simply plastering the mechanics of a shooter over a topic they may have heard of by reading the title of an article somewhere, they completely neglect to ask themselves what this all means. What you end up with is a game about the evils of Mexicans and other minorities overblown to the point where it deserves a place next to "Birth of a Nation" as racist propaganda. Except it lacks even the historical significance of such propaganda, since it will neither have the emotional impact of such trash, the fun fundementals of even the trashier mindless shooters, nor does it manage to contain even a cursory connection with facts.

    If Techland understood even the most rudimentary concepts of design, then frankly, that is terrifying. It means they knowingly have endorsed the viewpoint of a misogynistic Klansman. Frankly I hope that the truth is the more likely scenario, where the creative minds behind this game have no business making games. At least then, we can perhaps hope for an apology. This game degrades the Drug War, the travesties within, minorities, women, the players themselves, and the very idea of games.
    Expand
  7. Sep 19, 2011
    0
    This game is so bad, I don't know where to begin. Terrible controls, graphics, AI, gun-feeling. It's on-rails, has gray pixellated dots for you to follow (as if you can get lost in the first place, it is completely linear). Stereotypical, boring characters. Just stay away... what a waste of a great franchise. Expand

See all 19 User Reviews